Barrelled Thoughts #9

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

‘Listen with your soul,’ it read.

The tiny plastic bags I used to get from Musica store in East Gate used to always have those four words printed on them. In the beginning I thought it was just a catchy slogan, which it is. Then I thought it was probably just a lousy excuse for when you didn’t like the music they were playing.
(In a rather thick Indian accent) “No! You’re doing it wrong! You’re listening with your ears. You must listen with your soul!” the man at the counter would shout.

A few years ago, because I thought I was following a worldwide trend, one would catch me dead before anyone catches me listening to an Acoustic/Pop song. I’m not talking about Britney Spears, or JoJo. I’m talking about the real acoustic music, music for feeling; music for the soul. Now when I look at that dirty old plastic bag I have lying around some place, it strikes a chord, in more ways than one.

It started off with Jack Johnson, then Taylor Swift after I heard her at the Grammys. After that it was Mat Kearney and Colbie Caillat. Now it’s Sara Bareilles, whose album, by the way, I’ve decided to buy as a gift for a friend’s upcoming birthday.

My favorite band for the better half of a decade has undoubtedly been Linkin Park. Starting off my CD collection with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, I’ve bought every album since their formation and release into the world of free-market capitalism. From underground performances to live concerts all around the world, you can forget ACDC, Linkin Park was the one for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I still adore Mike Shinoda’s off-beat rapping and Chester Bennington’s ‘vocals’, but I think I’m getting old. It’s either that or Linkin Park just isn’t making the music they used to make. I heard that “Minutes to Midnight” would be a different feel to their albums of the past, but damn, seriously, give me “Meteora” back.

Nowadays, I can still say that Linkin Park is one of my favourite bands, but on the other hand, I can’t say that Linkin Park is what I listen to, day in and day out (that is now Foo Fighters and forever will be). As a result, I’m stranded on this island, filled with different genres of music and different upcoming artists, it’s the island of music, I guess. And I’ve just come to realise that I’ve been missing out on a lot of action whilst my brain has been entangled by Mr. Hahn’s turntable.

These days, I find myself switching from genre-to-genre. Music has become an undetachable part of my life.

I’d walk to the north of the island, and Britney would be doing her thing: “All eyes on me in the center of the ring just like a circus, when I crack that whip, everybody gon’ trip just like a circus.”
I’d listen to Britney and all her Pop/R&B buddies for a few days, and remember when Stella was breaking to her tunes for the school dance…but eventually I’d move on and walk to the east.
As I approach, I hear double-bass pedals and loud screaming: “Your tears don’t fall, they crash around me.”
Bullet for My Valentine would occupy some of my time before the heavy metal of Metallica would pull me over. “No, nothing else matters,” Kirk Hammett would sing.
I was stuck on Rock for quite a while, probably because that’s what I started off with. Linking Park and Blink 182, although different from Metallica and the Foo Fighters, was still my first impression of Rock ‘n Roll back in the day.
After listening to that racket for a few months, I started my trek towards the southern end of the island where I would find Usher, Lil’ Wayne, T-Pain, Lupe Fiasco, Flo Rida, Robin Thicke, Kanye West and John Legend.
“Give me the green light…”
“Love Lockdown, a love lockdown…”
“Apple bottom jeans and the boots with the fur…”
That kept me busy for a quite some time, really. But eventually I got bored of all the, Yeah’s and all the Uh huh’s, so I went to the west.
I do believe that I have stumbled upon a pop of gold. Like I said earlier, it might be because I’m getting old, or else it just means that I’ve always had a liking for Acoustic music, haha.

“Set me free, leave me be. I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I’m supposed to be.
But you’re on to me and all over me.”
Sara Bareilles – Gravity.

Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Taylor Swift, Mat Kearney, Colbie Caillet, Coldplay, the Fray, Take That, Amy Winehouse and more recently, Sara Bareilles. These people seem to really light up my life. Something unexplainable about the way their music feels. Dear me, I sound like Elton John.

OK, I will say no more. Acoustic music is filling up my ear drums these days, and I really hope I don’t tire of it, because that would mean going back up to the northern part of the island, and I mean, come on, I’m tired of Britney already. JSF.

P.S. Just in case you were worrying, Christina. I do not involve Ministry of Sound into my own untelevized version of ‘So you can think you can sing.’ Because if Ministry of Sound turned up to compete, the others would all have to go home.
Ministry of Sound has and always will preserve a special place in my heart. It’s locked. So, go away, Britney.

Flor de musica - Acoustic music is blossoming.

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